The “You Will Be Found” College Essay Writing Challenge
Inspired by the Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen

Recognizing excellence in storytelling.

Student writer of winning essay to receive scholarship
from sponsor Stacey Mindich, Lead Producer


The “You Will Be Found” College Essay Challenge is open to all 11th and 12th grade students attending a public, private, and charter high school or homeschool equivalent in the United States and American Territories during the 2021-2022 academic year. Challenge open to US residents only. Presented in partnership with the Broadway and National Tour productions of Dear Evan Hansen, the program recognizes excellence in storytelling and promotes student engagement with the production.


Dear Evan Hansen, at its core, is a story about connection. The theme for the 2021-2022 academic year is as follows:

Evan Hansen and his peers are coming of age, but the adults in their lives are in many ways still figuring themselves out, too. As you look ahead to life after high school and starting college, do you view this time in your life as a precipice or a continuum? Will you introduce a “new you” into a fresh community, or further shape the best version of yourself as you explore new horizons?

We invite you, the 11th-grade and 12th-grade students to write a college-application style essay (no longer than 650-words) that describes your experiences with or ideas about reinvention, at any stage of your life.


Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen is a deeply personal and profoundly contemporary Broadway phenomenon. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. “You Will Be Found” is the Act One-closing anthem written by composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. To learn more about Dear Evan Hansen, please visit


Visit Gotham Writers’ official contest page by following this link to enroll in the “You Will be Found” College Essay Writing Challenge.


May 9th (11:59 pm EST)


The judges will evaluate entries for originality, quality of the writing, narrative, clarity, grammar, and spelling.


Entries will be read and evaluated by a judging panel comprised of college-essay coaching, creative writing, and theatrical professionals.

This year’s judges to be announced.


One winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship, plus five regional winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship.


The Broadway Education Alliance and Gotham Writers are presenting the “You Will Be Found” Challenge to recognize excellence in storytelling and promote student engagement with Broadway.

For more information on the sponsors, visit: The Broadway Education Alliance and  Gotham Writers Workshop


If you have a question about the program, please contact Susan Lee, and

Thank you! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.